Definition of damper in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdampə/


1A person or thing that has a subduing or inhibiting effect: this will be a damper on the liberal agenda for the next couple of years
More example sentences
  • Both groups have demanded that he should receive a fair trial, helping to put the dampers on the muted triumphalism that greeted his capture and imprisonment.
  • For most of us, the news we are in for another cold, wet October weekend will be enough to put the dampers on our weekend plans.
  • By the time the music stops and a Reno campaign ad comes on the giant video screens, putting a bit of a damper on the already struggling atmosphere, my new friends have climbed onto a huge plastic stage, where they gyrate to the ad.
1.1 Music A pad silencing a piano string except when removed by means of a pedal or by the note being struck.
Example sentences
  • The basic notes of Philip Glass's music are very few and usually surrounded by a haze of the overtones created by the damper pedal of the piano.
  • When a pianist actually looks at the damper action while pedaling, or watches the hammers strike the string for only a split second, her body will shift to a more kinesthetic, intuitive and efficient mode.
  • During performance, most students will need to stand while depressing the damper pedal to access the interior of the piano.
1.2A device for reducing mechanical vibration, in particular a shock absorber on a motor vehicle.
Example sentences
  • Also known as crankshaft dampers, these devices dwell in the harsh environment of a vehicle's engine and serve to reduce the noise and vibration of a vehicle.
  • Thankfully, the dampers and shock absorbers do their job without being easily visible, taking away nothing from Foster's ‘blade of light.’
  • The dampers (shock absorbers) are gas charged.
1.3A conductor used to reduce oscillation in an electric motor or generator.
Example sentences
  • Magneto-rheological dampers use an electromagnetic coil inside the damper's piston to increase the fluid's viscosity by aligning the magnetic particles when a current is applied.
  • It was a component for a vibration damper on the crankshaft for its 3-liter engine.
  • The crankshaft also has a viscous type torsional vibration damper.
1.4A movable metal plate in a flue or chimney, used to regulate the draught and so control the rate of combustion.
Example sentences
  • Airflow into the base of the flue and out of the top is regulated by dampers controlled by the building management system, which also controls airflow from the building into the flue.
  • They also should have electrically operated dampers to limit and control the amount of outside air entering the return side of the air handler.
  • Check the seal on the flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
2chiefly Australian /NZ An unleavened loaf or cake of flour and water baked in wood ashes.
In the sense 'something that takes the edge off the appetite'
Example sentences
  • I mixed the damper (flour, butter, water, love), wrapped it in aluminium foil, and buried it in the coals of the fire.
  • The menu also included oysters, prawns, turkey, smoked kangaroo, dampers, bread with wattleseed and a range of desserts with native fruits.
  • As representative of everyday staple I would like to single out damper, a simple flat bread made of self-raising flour and hot water and baked on the hot ashes or on a wire over a small fire.


put a damper on

Have a subduing or inhibiting effect on: he put a damper on her youthful excitement
More example sentences
  • A droopy stock market and the dot-com crash that began nearly two years ago put a damper on the high end at a time when many were trying to cash in on the real-estate boom.
  • Quit worrying, you're putting a damper on the day.
  • Well, okay, bad weather can put a damper on any vacation (pardon the pun).

Words that rhyme with damper

camper, hamper, pamper, scamper, stamper, Tampa, tamper, tramper

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: damp¦er

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